ON AIR: Mike Hosking Breakfast

6a.m. - 9a.m.

Lime pulls scooters after software glitch throws riders off

Author
NZ Herald ,
Section
Business,
Publish Date
Monday, 14 January 2019, 1:05p.m.
A Lime rider in Auckland's CBD. Photo / Michael Craig.
A Lime rider in Auckland's CBD. Photo / Michael Craig.

Lime has pulled its scooters from Swiss streets following reports of its scooters suddenly halting mid-ride - sending riders tumbling.

In a message to customers, Lime said it has "paused" its service while scooters were returned to its workshops for checkups.

"We have been made aware of cases in which users report that during their rides, sudden brake manoeuvres take place, leading to crashes," Lime said.

"The investigation is ongoing. We are currently examining whether a software update could be causing a reboot during the ride, triggering the theft protection."

Lime's anti-theft technology locks up a scooter's wheels.

"We have already taken measures to ensure this will never happen again. Nonetheless, we are testing each device thoroughly to ensure that no software or hardware issues remain," the message to customers added.

Lime has promised 15 minutes of free ride time as compensation when service resumed.

The Herald has asked Lime for comment.

New model unveiled
Meanwhile, Lime used the CES show in Las Vegas to show off its Generation 3 Lime S Electric Scooter.

The new model features larger 10-inch wheels for better grip and stability and boosts range by 20 per cent (the Gen 2 Lime can travel up to 48km on a single charge, though the exact mileage depends on hills and speed).

It also features a "mountain bike-inspired suspension system that ensures a smoother, safer ride" and enhanced braking components.

The Gen 3 also adds a 2.8-inch colour display which shows information including current speed and any parking restrictions. It also has the ability to warn a rider if they are the footpath, in areas where riding on footpaths is barred (which would not include NZ).

The new model will be rolled out to selected markets over the next few weeks. There was no immediate word on when Gen 3 models will be available in NZ.

A rollout decision could depend on whether Auckland Council decides to grant Lime a permanent street-trading licence.

Lime's trial licence had been due to expire today, but on Friday the council extended it until the end of March.

The San Francisco-based, two-year-old Lime, bankrolled by Uber and Google, says it now operates in 100 cities on five continents.

It faces controversy in many, however. In Australia, the Gold Coast Council confiscated Lime scooters after the company failed to follow proper registration procedures. In Madrid, all electric scooters were ordered off city streets after a pedestrian was killed in a collision.

ON AIR: Mike Hosking Breakfast

6a.m. - 9a.m.